Sabrina A.

Planning your trip

Yes! Traveling with dogs! III

Welcome to the 3rd post of Yes! Traveling with dogs! from Sun with Style. Today we are going to talk about the planning of your trip with your beloved four-pawed companion. This post will be the first of a lot of other posts to help you organize better your trip, avoiding set backs and unpleasant situations. It is very important to know where you are staying, so that the trip can be organized accordingly.

Travelers worldwide know that arrangements have to be made to make traveling abroad smooth. Different currency, language and culture make traveling exciting and sometimes stressful if you can’t communicate properly. Having a pet with you can put you in a situation where communication is everything and if you aren’t prepared, things can derail rapidly.

To make sure your vacation doesn’t end sooner than expected, here’s some information to help you plan your trip with your pet. The planning will depend basically on two things: where you are going to and what kind of transportation you are using to get there. This information makes all the difference to your planning when traveling with your dog.

Other things like: what and how to pack, what to do in case of illness, etc. will be discussed in other posts too, but first things first! As posted in the second post of Yes! Traveling with dogs!, some things come first and regulations is one of them.

If reading all of the information above made you panic, I assure you it is not as complicated as it seems. Once done, all of it will make sense and will be something you’ll do on autopilot next time as part of the adventure.

Where to start?

Before booking your stay, you should do a basic research. Prices, accommodation, transportation, documentation and what the place offers are the first items on the list. When traveling with dogs, the list basically remains the same, the difference is the dog’s documentation and country acceptance.

When traveling inside the country (domestic) most of us don’t even think that carrying your dog’s documentation is important. We sometimes travel light, but what if something goes wrong in your trip? Do you know the date of the last vaccination and what kind of vaccine it was?

Starting with a visit to your Veterinarian will make planning easier. The Veterinarian will not only check your friend’s health before traveling, he will also prepare the necessary documents (eg. dog passport if you’re in Europe) for your trip as needed. Having a vaccination report is good in case of accidents and having the visitation done might also ease your mind while checking him against most common parasites like ticks, fleas and worms.

Where to start when planning your trip

Planning your trip by air or by ground?

While planning the transportation might not cross your mind, but I assure you this is important when traveling with a dog. They might get hyperactive, stressed or even sick because of it.

Planning your trip by air or by ground?

Acclimation of your pet into different kinds of transportation may seem exaggerated, but if you think about the most common of them all, like your car, the idea becomes acceptable. Dogs can feel carsick! If that is your case, talk to your vet about it.

Other vehicles like public transportation (trains and buses) help them to learn how to behave when surrounded by a crowd in a confined space, that could help them in flights.

If you are flying, airlines have their own pet policies and basic provisions must take place. You should check with your company what is needed for cargo-hold or for cabin flights and what are their conditions to transport your friend.

Where can I find a pet friendly accommodation when planning my trip?

If you are reading this column you should know that Sun with Style is a pet friendly vacation property, and we know your pet will feel at home just as much as you. To book your vacation with us just click here.

But if you are looking for something else you can go to: Airbnb, Booking, Homeaway, Tripadvisor or Ferien mit hund. In the 4 first sites, you just have to set the filter for pets in your search. In the last one, it’s already implicit that you’re traveling with your friend as it specializes in homes that allow pets.

Planning your trip in a pet friendly accommodation

Better safe than sorry

And for the last topic of this post: get good equipment and know how to use it.

Keeping your pet safe and secure during the journey is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter where you are going or how you are getting there you will need a pet carrier, crate or harness.

Having adequate ventilation, secure fasteners and waterproof bottom makes it imperative for a dog carrier. Your dog must fit entirely in the carrier without its head bowing down and it must be able to stand up and turn around (a full circle) in it.

An IATA compliant dog crate (normally used for for larger dogs) comes in various sizes, is made of hard plastic, has a metal door with a spring lock and ventilation openings on 2 or 3 sides (for international travel, at least 3 sides must have ventilation). If you want to know the best ones on the market click here.

Another option is a pet harness for your pet if you are traveling by car. Some of them have latches that will fit seatbelts of most models. Do not attach seatbelt lines to collars! This can be very dangerous!

Once you have decided on a harness, carrier or crate, you should spend some time getting your pet used to it. Start as soon as possible before embarking in your adventure, offering treats and rewards when you see your pet using its crate. A good tip is to leave the crate or carrier open and get them used to relaxing and sleeping in there. This will be their home when traveling and you need to make it a welcoming place for them. See more about the subject here.

I hope this helps you a little with these points on planning your trip! Be assured there is more to talk about and all the basis will be covered. See you next week.